Culbertson and Pearce scored 17 points apiece Monday night to lead the Lady 'Blazers to a 57-39 win over the two-time defending champion Lady Trojans in the Region 1-AAA semifinals at Jefferson County High School.
Daniel Boone (28-4) will play the host Lady Patriots, 59-48 winners over Dobyns-Bennett, in Wednesday's championship game. More importantly, the win moves the Lady 'Blazers to Saturday's sectional round and within one game of qualifying for the state tournament.
It was also sweet revenge.
"They've sent us home so many times it's not even funny," Boone coach Travis Mains said. "But, tonight was our night. They played together defensively and the best team won."
Boone went on a 12-0 run in the second quarter and parlayed it into a 25-12 halftime lead. The Lady 'Blazers never let West get any closer than nine points the rest of the game. Mains said it deflated West, while Pearce talked about the efforts to not let them get back on track after the Lady Trojans had rallied from 15 down to lose by just one to Boone in the regular season.
"Ever since my freshman year, I've wanted to get them out of the tournament," Pearce said. "It's been a big rival and this feels good. We weren't ready to let them come back tonight."
KEEPING TRACK OF SCHULTZ
West, which had won three of the last four Region 1 tournaments, ended its season at 23-4. Caroline Harville scored 15 points for West and Macey Hefner finished with 11. However, Blayre Schultz, who scored 30 in a quarterfinal win over Science Hill, was held to just seven.
"One of our points on the (dry-erase) board was to know where she always was on the floor," Culbertson said. "We did a good job of that and didn't let her shoot. Now, we're really confident going into the championship and really confident we're going to get a home sub-state game Saturday."
Jaycie Jenkins scored eight points, six coming in the big run, while senior guard Emily Sizemore scored seven and teamed with Culbertson on the efforts to slow down Schultz.
Jefferson County 59, Dobyns-Bennett 48
The Lady Patriots (22-10) pulled ahead early with five 3-point goals in the first half, and finished by hitting 18 of 21 free throws in the fourth quarter to win the first semifinal.
Jefferson County led 24-17 at the half and was up 34-23 in the third quarter when D-B rallied with the final seven points of the quarter, including Jaden Fullen's put-back at the buzzer. The margin remained in single digits until the final minute when Jefferson County was able to hit a number of late free throws.
Courtney Whitson scored 21 points and Fullen had 12 as the Lady Indians ended their season 24-10.
Makayla Alvey paced the Lady Patriots with 21 points, followed by Ryleigh Fritz with 15 and Cayla Smith with 11.